Choosing conveyor belts is an extremely important process and one is more often than not overlooked. Selection details and this mainly refers to the material type used in the making is very vital to the application’s success. The wrong conveyer significantly affects safety, downtime and throughput. There are various types of conveyer belts available in the market. First off, one has to know their product and how it conveys best. One has to consider product material, weight, size and distribution. One also has to consider how products are loaded onto the conveyor and if shall be any impact loading.
Other factors to look at include change in product orientation, conveying speed of a product, direction of product travel whether incline or decline and the weather condition that the conveyor operates. An environment could be cold, hot, wet, dry, inside, outside or corrosive. Once there is a very good understanding on these contributing factors one is now able to look at the basic belt types that are readily available. General purpose belts are made using inner carcass and outer covers. Materials used in this group include leather, polyester, nitrile, nylon, neoprene, urethane, PVC and rubber.
Such belting can be used in various applications such as high friction for declining or inclining, low friction during accumulation, oil resistant, cut resistant, food grade, electrical conduction, high temperatures and troughed or cleated for bulk handling. Plastic belting and chain is wear resistant, durable and lightweight. It is used in applications such as manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, packaging and food production. Hinge metal belting is known to be incredibly durable and it’s used in machine scrap and chip removal. It’s used in applications such as food processing, glass and ceramics, electronics and metalworking. It is used in endless areas of the above stated processes.
Flat wire belting is made using flat wire to create a surface that is flat making it superb for handling of food. It’s used in applications like food preparation and canning, freezing and baking food, cleaning of parts, painting of parts and drying them, sorting, assembling and packaging of products and also in transfer of parts. After choosing the appropriate type of belt in line with the product to be conveyed one now must look at specifics in belt maintenance, cleaning, replacement and modifying and all the costs that can come about with these processes. The above listed and briefly discussed conveyor list isn’t full. It simply serves as a guide to the types that are most commonly used in various industries.
When making a purchase safety features shouldn’t be compromised just to lower prices. Ignoring these features has led to fatal accidents in the past and can cause even worse damage. Some of the features that are deleted commonly to help in “saving” buyers their money are pull cords, stop buttons, backstops; start up warning systems, lockout devices and guards. These are vital in helping workers avoid getting into contact with the belts and being subjected to any kind of harm. They make up a small portion of overall costs and are worthy investment.